Updated: Jan 14
Zinc is one of those critical nutrients which are important in countless processes in your body including healthy hormones, a strong immune system, and healthy tissues.
Bad news is nearly 25% of the world population is deficient in this mineral.
Good news is there is a very simple method to test your zinc levels at home.
Zinc is critical for overall health and quality of life. That's why we at COMFORT KETO recommend the you test your zinc levels on a regular basis.
Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc is involved in foundational human processes from modulating the immune system to supporting healthy hormone production. You will notice a huge difference in your health when you increase your consumption of zinc rich foods and use supplemental forms of zinc.
The recommended daily allowance for zinc is between eight to eleven milligrams for most adults. However, progressive nutritionists and doctors recommend between 20–40 mg/daily for most functional health.
Supplementation is helpful to balance your body's zinc levels quickly. Zinc supplements come in several forms. At COMFORT KETO, we recommend the Zinc supplements in easily absorb-able chelated form Zinc Glycinate.
Chelation is a type of bonding of ions and molecules to metal ions and prevents the absorption of copper, and helps the removal of toxic metals and fertilizers from the body.
It is best to supplement with zinc with meals. So take 20 mg with one meal or 20 mg, 2 times daily with meals to get your levels where they need to be.
Benefits Of Zinc
If you are getting sick often, you may have low zinc levels because Zinc modulates the immune system by balancing the Th-1 and Th-2 branches of the immune system. Zinc also assists a protein called human cytokine interferon alpha that is responsible for inhibiting the replication of viruses within the body (read more).
Chronic inflammation one of the number one health problems in our society. Zinc drastically lowers inflammation. In addition, zinc plays a critical role in the production of antioxidants (SOD; superoxide dismutase) in the body. SOD prevents damage of genes, detoxifies the body, and supports the immune system against viral infection.
Zinc improves the body’s ability to fight off cancer cells by reducing inflammation and improving immune coordination. In addition to this, zinc plays an important role in regulation of the expression of the P53 gene (in order to be active, P53 needs to bind zinc), which monitors the cell division cycle and preventing cancerous growth (read more here and here).
Low zinc levels or excessive copper and other heavy metals -lead, aluminum, cadmium and mercury- can damage the P53 protein (read more here and here). This is why it is important to test zinc levels on a regular basis.
Reasons For Zinc Deficiency
Remember! You may be eating a zinc rich diet and yet still be deficient in zinc. That's if you aren’t digesting and absorbing zinc well and/or if you are consuming other substances that deplete your zinc stores.
Here is a quick list regarding what may be causing your zinc stores to deplete.
Leaky Gut & Poor Digestion If you have a leaky gut or poor stomach acid production, it is likely that you are deficient in several nutrients. Zinc is extremely important for healing and sealing the gut. So if you are deficient, the gut lining will inflame and never heal.
Medications Medications like prescription antibiotics, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as asprin, ibuprofen, naproxen etc.), proton pump inhibitors, or antacids may damage the gut or inhibit stomach acid production.
Poor Diet & Blood Sugar Imbalance Consuming processed foods heavily, a lot of grains, nuts, and foods containing phytic acids depletes your body’s zinc stores. Limiting or at least sprouting such foods before consuming is important.
Chronic Stress Zinc is utilized by your body at a much more rapid rate during times of elevated stress. If you are experiencing high anxiety, this could be in part due to low levels of zinc, magnesium and B-complex vitamins.
Toxin Exposure Exposure to pesticides and heavy metals interferes with zinc absorption. Also, consuming high levels of copper in city water can lead to an imbalance in copper/zinc ratios. Additionally, foods such as grains, nuts and seeds are high in copper and also contain phytic acids that reduce zinc absorption. Copper and zinc work against each other to regulate certain functions in the body. Having high copper levels in relation to zinc can create many problems (read more).
Relationship Between Zinc and Copper
Zinc and copper compete against one another as antagonist in order to properly regulate the physiological pathways in your body. The proper balance between the two trace minerals is critical to maintaining health (read more).
Unlike zinc, copper can readily accumulate in the body into toxic concentrations. In order to maintain adequate zinc levels, a higher dose of zinc compared to copper is required daily. Zinc is only stored for short durations in the blood and bone and is quickly excreted through our urine and fecal matter (read more).
Ideally, nutritional biochemist Dr. Paul Eck recommends that the proper intake of copper to zinc should be a 1:8 ratio (read more). When properly concentrated in the right balance, zinc behaves like the bigger brother blocking copper in food and in the body from being absorbed (read more). Fortunately, the foods that are high in zinc, such as meat, seafood, nuts and pumpkin seeds are also very high in copper so you get both of these together in your diet.
Signs Of Zinc Deficiency
Common symptoms of zinc deficiency and copper/zinc imbalance. If you have any of these symptoms, I would highly recommend you test zinc levels (read more).
How To Test
The simplest and most cost-effective test is the zinc sulfate taste test. All you do purchase a bottle of zinc sulfate liquid (this is a good one and if that is sold out, try this one here), place a capful in your mouth, and observe the sensations in your mouth.
Test zinc levels on a weekly basis to see how you are improving.
Below are the possible outcomes and indications:
You Notice No Metallic Taste: Zinc Deficiency
You Notice A Delayed Metallic Taste: Slight Zinc Deficiency
You Notice Slight Metallic Taste: Zinc Levels Are Adequate, But Could Be Higher
You Notice Very Strong Metallic Taste: You Likely Have Optimal Zinc Levels
You can use your results from the Zinc Sulfate taste test to determine how much supplemental zinc to consume.
If you notice that you are expressing signs of slight to complete zinc deficiency, you will need to be intentional about the foods you eat to drastically increase zinc intake. You will also need to avoid dietary habits that deplete zinc levels like consuming high amounts of sugar, grains, and processed foods. You may also consider taking a multi-vitamin with zinc or taking another supplement that supports your zinc levels. If you are very deficient, you should absolutely take a zinc supplement for a few months to get your levels back to normal.
If your results indicate a slight or complete zinc deficiency, 40 mg daily is likely more suitable for you while 20 mg daily may be more suitable for someone who is trying to maintain optimal levels.
Remember! Zinc is only stored for short durations in the blood and bone and is quickly excreted through our urine and fecal matter (read more).
Alternatively, Get A Thorough Blood Test
Getting a thorough blood test on an annual or semi-annual basis is one of the best ways to pick up any underlying health challenges and prevent the development of degenerative disease.
The lab markers found on a comprehensive blood analysis can catch potential health problems in their early stages and help one customize health strategies to prevent potential disease development.
The comprehensive blood analysis looks at a number of
blood sugar regulation markers,
immune health as well.
You can find out more about the comprehensive blood analysis here.